What’s going on in the TV world?

Now that we’re finally in December, we’re getting closer and closer to Doctor Who breaking my heart with its Christmas special. This week, BBC released a new moving poster for it. There’s one light on the horizon — Bill Potts, who quickly became one of my favorite companions, looks like she’s going to play a bigger part than simply showing up to say a final goodbye to the Doctor.

Netflix released the new trailer for Black Mirror. Season 4 looks to up the unease factor of the show with its 6 episodes. Directors, including Jodie Foster and Tim Van Patten (who directed Game of Thrones and The Wire), will bring us new imaginative and thrilling stories. The trailer is specifically for the first episode, “Black Museum,” which is directed by Colm McCarthy. He also directed The Girl with All the Gifts and Peaky Blinders. This episode will star Black Panter‘s Letitia Wright, Marvel’s The Defenders’ Babs Olusanmokun and The Night Manager‘s Douglas Hodge.  “Black Museum” revolves around a traveler and a crime museum with a shocking star attraction. It will be a compendium of three stories.

In sad news, Bryan Fuller and Michael Green are leaving American Gods. They served as showrunners for the inaugural season of the Starz drama based on Neil Gaiman’s book. The exit stemmed from issues with producer FremantleMedia over budget and creative direction. Fuller and Green wanted an increase in the budget for the second season which is already at almost $10 million an episode. Currently there hasn’t been a replacement named. Green and Fuller will stay busy with Green working on Netflix’s Raising Dion and Fuller on Apple’s Amazing Stories.

Earlier this year, HBO announced a new series from Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. The show, called Confederate, takes place in an alternate America in which the South successfully succeeded from the Union during the Civil War. Slavery still remains legal in these states. In the list of bad show ideas, this ranks pretty high. As you can imagine, this show wasn’t received well. The hashtag #NoConfederate immediately emerged to let HBO know just how displeased fans were. Now according to The Washington Post, “the show is still in development, [but] the creators are not actively working on it.” Between the dislike from this show from social media and Amazon making their own Civil War revisionist show (that looks a lot better), Black America, hopefully, they realize the error of their ways and choose to scrap Confederate all together

IMDB/Dark Horse Comics

Umbrella Academy was this strange graphic novel that told the story of this family of dysfunctional superheroes, in some cases, and super anti-heroes in others. Gerard Way’s writing gave these quirky and flawed characters life and Gabriel Ba’s art gave us a feast of color to look at. I am not the only one who loved this book. Netflix is making an adaptation and now they have cast the main family. Game of Thrones and Black Sails‘ Tom Hopper will play Luther, aka Spaceboy. In the comic, he is the de facto leader of the group. In case you’re wondering, his head is fused onto the body of a Martian gorilla. Jane the Virgin‘s David Castaneda will play Diego, aka The Kraken, a vigilante who rebels against his family and believes he should be the leader, not his brother. Hamilton‘s Emmy Raver-Lampman will play Allison, aka The Rumor, a former movie star with the power to change reality by just speaking. Misfits‘ Robert Sheehan will play Klaus, aka The Séance, a drug addict with the ability to speak to the dead. Nicky, Ricky, Dicky and Dawn‘s Aidan Gallagher will play Number Five, aka The Boy, a 58-year-old man trapped in the body of a 13-year-old who also happens to be a deadly assassin. Ellen Page was cast earlier as Vanya.

Courtney B. Vance is returning to FX. He knocked it out of the park playing Johnnie Cochran in The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, a role he won an Emmy for. Now he is starring in and executive producing Heist 88. Set in 1988, the crime drama is a true story about Armand Moore, an arch-criminal played by Vance, who concocts a plan to steal $70 million dollars from the First National Bank of Chicago that involves using four black employees of the bank. Dwayne Johnson-Cochran will write the script and also executive produce.

Social media has been buzzing all week with the news of Meghan Markle’s engagement to Prince Harry. It’s like a multi-racial Hallmark holiday movie come true. With this happy news comes sad, though probably not surprising, news for USA’s Suits fans. Markle plays Rachel Zane and will not be returning for the show’s 8th season. She’s been a part of the show since its inception. It’s also rumored that co-star Patrick J. Adams will also be leaving the show. Adams’ Mike Ross and Markle’s Zane are engaged on the show and it’s also rumored that their wedding will happen before the end of this season. It looks like fictional and real-life weddings will be in Markle’s future.

Neil Gaiman has been kind enough to share updates from BBC’s adaption of his and Terry Pratchett’s book, Good Omens. From casting news to first looks, his fingers are ready to tweet it out. This week he shared the first image of Jon Hamm as the Archangel Gabriel.

Riverdale has been a surprising success for The CW. Earlier this summer, it was announced that the universe would be expanding with the addition of a show based on The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. There’s been a change of plans. Sabrina won’t be airing on The CW. Netflix has just picked up the series for 2 seasons of 10 episodes each. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Riverdale showrunner and chief creative officer of Archie Comics, is writing the script for the new Sabrina. The version of the series will be a darker coming of age story. Aguirre-Sacasa envisions a larger connected world of shows based on Archie Comics characters.

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Not all is well in The CW’s Arrowverse and I’m not talking about their recent crossover. A few weeks ago Warner Bros. Television suspended Andrew Kreisberg over multiple allegations of sexual harassment.  Kreisberg served as co-creator and executive producer of Supergirl, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Arrow and CW Seed’s Vixen. Following an investigation into the accusations, Kreisberg was terminated from his position. In a statement released on Wednesday, the TV group said, “After a thorough investigation, Warner Bros. Television Group has terminated Andrew Kreisberg’s employment, effective immediately. Greg Berlanti will assume additional responsibilities on both The Flash, where he will work closely with executive producer/co-showrunner Todd Helbing, and Supergirl, where he will work closely with executive producers/co-showrunners Robert Rovner and Jessica Queller. We remain committed to providing a safe working environment for our employees and everyone involved in our productions.”

Black Lightning — “Dark Matter of My Brain” — Image BLK101d_0100 — Pictured: Cress Williams as Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning — Photo: Bob Mahoney/The CW — © 2017 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved

Black Lightning has so far escaped the scandals marring its fellow DC properties. Perhaps that’s because it’s not quite part of the Arrowverse. Not yet, at least. The CW released official photos from the first episode, “Dark Matter Of My Brain.” The show premieres January 16. You can read our article on it and see the rest of the photos here.

DC/Warner Bros.

Though its star isn’t my favorite Robin, I’m heavily invested in the new Titans show. While DC has struggled with their movies, they’re the reigning champions of TV series. Written by Akiva Goldsman, Geoff Johns, and Greg Berlanti, the show follows a group of up and coming superheroes led by Robin. Now we have our first look at Brenton Thwaites as Robin aka Dick Grayson. Laura Jean Shannon designed the Robin suit. She’s worked on The CW’s Black Lightning and Iron Man. Titans will premiere on DC’s new streaming service next year.

Marvel

Over at Marvel, their animated series Avengers: Secret Wars will soon see a familiar face. Avengers: Secret Wars is loosely tied in with the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe. The team is made up of Ant-Man, The Wasp, Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, and Vision. In the episode that premiered yesterday, Peggy Carter, voiced by Hayley Atwell, time traveled along with Howard Stark to the future to help Tony Stark’s Iron Man and Steve Rogers’ Captain America fight a time-traveling villain. It always pulls on my heartstrings to see Steve and Peggy back together, especially knowing that they will be separated once again.

In Movie News…

The first trailer for Avengers: Infinity War was released this week and the internet collectively lost its mind. Captain America with a beard, Thanos, thawed out Bucky, Spidey-sense, the battle for Wakanda — there was so much to take in in such a short trailer. We all watched it so many times that it became the most viewed trailer of all time with 230 million views in 24 hours. You can check out our trailer breakdown here. Prior to the trailer drop, Vanity Fair released their feature article with images of all of the characters in the movie and gave us a peek at the special covers. After seeing all of this, I have to ask, who isn’t in this movie?

Photograph by Jason Bell/Vanity Fair

After a yearlong search that covered five continents and auditioned almost 1,000 candidates, Disney has found their Mulan. Chinese actress Liu Yifei, also known as Crystal Liu, will be playing the titular character. Liu is a popular actress in China and speaks fluent English which was one of the requirements for the actress playing Mulan. The second requirement, martial arts skills, was on display in 2008’s The Forbidden Kingdom. Jackie Chan and Jet Li also starred in that movie. You can read our article on it here.

BOOM!

Kerry Washington and Rashida Jones are teaming up to adapt Goldie Vance. They are partnering with BOOM!, the publisher of the comic book which follows a 16-year-old girl who dreams of becoming the in-house detective for the historic Miami resort she lives in. The series was created by Eisner Award-winning Batgirl writer Hope Larson and artist Brittney Williams who was on Patsy Walker, A.K.A Hellcat!. The rights were acquired by 20th Century Fox. Jones will be writing and directing while Washington will be producing under her production company, Simpson Street.

It seems like Hollywood is always looking for something to remake or reboot. Now it seems like the 70s, specifically blaxploitation films, are en vogue. 1973’s Cleopatra Jones was about a part-time model and full-time government agent who knew martial arts and drove around in a Corvette Stingray. She was like James Bond but better. Now it’s getting the remake treatment from Warner Bros. Misha Green, writer and producer for WGN’s Underground, is both writing the script and producing the film. Warner Bros. along with New Line Cinema is also rebooting Shaft. Samuel L. Jackson will be returning for the film. Independence Day: Resurgence‘s Jessie T. Usher will be starring opposite him as the son of the original John Shaft. The first Shaft stared Richard Roundtree as the titular character in 1971. Jackson played his nephew in the 2000 film. The new film will premiere on June 14, 2019. Sony has secured the rights to Superfly. Alex Tse, best known for Watchmen, is writing the script. The original 1972 film stared Ron O’Neal as a cocaine dealer looking for one more big score before retiring.

Though The Get Down was sadly cancelled, it’s great to see how the show has launched the careers of its actors, one of which just landed a lucrative role. Justice Smith was cast in the first ever live-action Pokemon film. From its animated series to its addictive games, Pokemon has been a long-standing and popular franchise. A live action film will be highly anticipated. The film, entitled Detective Pikachu is being made by Legendary with Universal Pictures handling distribution. Rob Letterman is directing with a script by Nicole Perlman and Alex Hirsch. Smith is also one of the leads in the sequel to the massively successful, Jurassic World.

Speaking of Jurassic World, the trailer for the sequel comes out this Thursday. They released a teaser in anticipation of it.

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Esteemed Japanese animation director,  Hayao Miyazaki, is once again coming out of retirement. He should start saying he’s taking a long break instead of retiring with how often he comes back to work. He most recently directed The Wind Rises in 2013. He’s prehaps most famous for directing My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. His next film will be titled Kimi-Tachi wa Dō Ikiru Ka (How Do You Live?). It’s based on Genzaburō Yoshino’s 1937 book about a man looking for spiritual growth.

There are a couple of rumors floating around the DC Extended Universe now. Kiersey Clemons, who was cast as Iris West, was supposed to be in Justice League but her scene was cut. It’s being rumored now that her fate in Flashpoint, the Flash’s stand-alone movie might be in jeopardy too. With the departure of director Rick Famuyiwa, Iris West might be recast. This all comes from a post from one of Justice League’s visual effects artists on Reddit so take it with a large grain of salt. The second rumor is less of a rumor and more of a wish. It concerns Green Lantern Corps. Yahoo! Movies UK spoke with screenwriter Michael Green. When asked who his dream casting would be for the role of Green Lantern he said, “I’ll probably get angry texts if I don’t say what’s in my heart which is that Ricky Whittle would make a fantastic John Stewart.” From his lips to a casting agent’s ears.

Sundance Institute has announced the films they will be screening at their annual festival next month. This year’s stable of films offers a diverse array of stories, characters, and storytellers. Shadow and Act has a great break down of some of the films premiering there including Sorry to Bother You which is directed and written by rapper Boots Riley. Its cast includes Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Steven Yeun, Jermaine Fowler Armie Hammer and Omari Hardwick.

Awards season is beginning and Get Out is getting all the awards and nominations it deserves. Jordan Peele won the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award Best Screenplay at the Gotham Awards. Get Out also took home the Audience Award. FX’s Atlanta won Breakthrough Series – Long Form there.  New York Film Critics Circle announced their annual award winners this week. Get Out won Best First Film. Tiffany Haddish won Best Supporting Actress for Girls Trip. Wilson Morales from Black Film noted that since 2000, the winner of a New York Film Critics Circle award has always received an Oscar nomination except for 3 times. Hopefully, that means Haddish and Get Out will receive more award nominations. Coco won Best Animated Feature.

Finally, Hollywood Reporter sat down with six actors including John Boyega to talk about everything from their craft to their fears to their dream roles. Boyega talked about his experience choking up during a scene while filming The Circle and what it was like to act with Prince William and Prince Harry in The Last Jedi. You can read the entire interview here.

In Other News…

A few pieces of music news. Solange was honored with the Impact Award at Billboard’s Women in Music ceremony. She said in regards to her album A Seat at the Table, “I have so much gratitude in my soul for how the way my work connected with people. When I think about the word impact, I can’t think of a more humbling way to articulate the mark that I would have liked to leave on the world with this work.” The Grammy Awards released their full nominations list. Jay-Z leads the nominations with eight followed by Kendrick Lamar with seven, Bruno Mars with six, and Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover), SZA, and Khalid with five each. This also marks the first time in a while that Album Of The Year does not include a white male artist. Lin-Manuel Miranda is returning to In the Heights. He will be joining the cast for 10th anniversary reunion at BroadwayCon. Just as he did with Hamilton, Miranda wrote the music and lyrics and played its central character, Usnavi, for In the Heights. You can watch him at BroadwayCon in January.

Marvel Comics just can’t stay out of the news. First Bendis leaving, then Axel Alonso being fired and now their new Editor-In-Chief is coming under fire. C.B. Cebulski has barely warmed the Editor-In-Chief chair before stories started popping up that he pretended to be Akira Yoshida, a Japanese comics writer 13 years ago. There are several things wrong with this story, most notably a white man masquerading as a Japanese writer. Through his actions, he denied an actual Japanese writer a job. He was hired to provide an authentic Japanese voice. Living in Japan doesn’t equate to being Japanese. He also may have skirted a rule that prevented Marvel editors from writing or drawing comic books. In response to the accusations, Cebulski said, “I stopped writing under the pseudonym Akira Yoshida after about a year. It wasn’t transparent, but it taught me a lot about writing, communication, and pressure. I was young and naïve and had a lot to learn back then. But this is all old news that has been dealt with, and now as Marvel’s new Editor-in-Chief, I’m turning a new page and am excited to start sharing all my Marvel experiences with up and coming talent around the globe.” It doesn’t look like he’ll have to pay for his actions in any way.

Finally, check out this cute trailer for the new Black Panther Funko line:

If you have anything I missed, email me at mel@blackgirlnerds.com or tweet me at @jane_anon. Check back in next Monday for all the exciting news happening next week.